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Use of non-Bath tools in Learning and Teaching

What do we mean?

  • Bath digital platforms are tools hosted by the University or externally-hosted with a university contracted provider.
  • Non-Bath digital platforms are free/externally-hosted tools with which the University has no agreements or arrangements in place.
  • Data Protection policies ensure that student data is appropriately protected.
  • Digital Accessibility requirements ensure all content is universally consumable.


You should choose a digital tool based on meeting learning outcomes, data protection (student privacy) and accessibility requirements. Do not choose to use a non-Bath digital platform based on specific functionality alone.

  1. Non-Bath digital platforms can be used in some teaching and learning activities
  • They can be used for content and for formative learning activities in certain circumstances.
  • They must not be used for course communication, hosting live teaching sessions or summative assessments.
  • Course teams must follow Bath guidance on Information Management and Digital Accessibility.
  • Course teams should help students make informed decisions on their use of digital platforms.
  • There is no digital learning support, by university teams, available for the use of non-Bath digital platforms.
Non-Bath digital platformsBath digital learning platforms/tools
External services such as Padlet, Kahoot and Slack where the University has no formal relationship.Hosted by the University or externally hosted with a University contracted provider including Moodle, Re:View (Panopto), Zoom, Mentimeter, Inspera, FutureLearn and Microsoft Office 365.

View the staff-curated Non-Bath Digital Tools List on the TEL Community of Practice

Appropriate use of Non-Bath digital platforms

1. Directing students to content on non-Bath digital platforms is acceptable


  • Recommending YouTube videos for students to watch
  • Sharing resources on Padlet for students to access

2. Use of non-Bath platforms can be used for formative learning activities.

Students must be provided with the option of using a Bath digital learning platform, if the non-Bath digital platform collects personal data (data that identifies someone such as their name or email address). Course teams should help students make informed decisions on their use of non-Bath digital platforms, considering issues such as data privacy and ownership.


  • A polling tool such as Slido is acceptable if no personal data is collected (but consider if Mentimeter, our supported tool, offers the same features)
  • Asking students to create a website using either a non-Bath digital platform (e.g. Weebly) or a Bath digital learning platform (e.g. Xerte) is acceptable as students have a choice.

Unacceptable use of non-Bath digital platforms

  1. Non-Bath platforms must not be used for summative assessments. Assignments must be submitted on Bath-supported platforms.
  2. All course communication must be done using Bath platforms and using Bath email addresses. Non-Bath digital platforms must not be used for essential course communication from staff.
  3. Non-Bath platforms should not be used for live teaching sessions or tutorials. Only Re:View (Panopto), Zoom or Microsoft Teams should be used for live sessions.
  4. Do not use a digitally inaccessible tool exclusively or where students with accessibility needs would miss out.

Data Protection

Course teams should make students aware of the implications of using non-Bath digital platforms, particularly in relation to personal data.

Although personal use of non-Bath digital platforms can be encouraged, students cannot be required to use a non-Bath digital platform as part of their course when personal data is involved without a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA).

Live teaching sessions should take place using Re:View, Zoom or Microsoft Teams and no other platform, as these are already covered by processing agreements with the University. Recordings are visible to participants and each participant has the option of turning off their video and microphone if they don’t want their personal data to be recorded.

Digital Accessibility

Digital accessibility is about content that is universally consumable, where no-one is excluded. University of Bath digital platforms are selected so they are digitally accessible. Make sure therefore, that if you are choosing to use a non-Bath digital platform that it supports these key aspects of digital accessibility:

  • visual (including colour contrast, size, appropriate alt-text, descriptive elements)
  • physical (including navigation from keyboard)
  • audio (appropriate caption, audio description).

Read more about digital accessibility

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